Excavations resume in coastal Peru

After a hiatus forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, the field activities of the Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológica Cerro San Isidro have resumed.

In June and July 2022, Professor David Chicoine, with the assistance of Peruvian archaeologist and project co-director Jeisen Navarro, directed the second season of excavations at the ancient archaeological complex of Cerro San Isidro located in the Moro region, Nepeña Valley, north-central coast of Peru.

With the financial support of the National Science Foundation (NSF award number No. 1853905), the team, composed of Peruvian, Canadian, and US archaeologists, continued the crucial documentation of the rich and complex ancient history of Cerro San Isidro. Through the vertical excavations of deep stratigraphic deposits, the 2022 season confirmed the central place of the settlement in local and regional cultural developments between at least 600 BCE and 1400 CE.

Under the supervision of Chicoine and Navarro and permission from Peru’s Ministerio de Cultura, Peruvian archaeologists Mary Avila, Carlos Ciriaco and Jose Ríos, LSU alumni Drs. Kimberly Munro and Matt Helmer, and current LSU G&A graduate students Madeline Blanchard, Corey Hoover, Itzamara Ixta, and Mathilde Morzaniga joined forces in the mapping operations, stratigraphic excavations, and laboratory analyses. Special thanks to PhD candidate Kayla Golay Lausanne (McMaster University) who carried out drone mapping and GPR surveys, as well as helped Chicoine in organizing community outreach activities and educational workshops. Excavations would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of local collaborators David Callan, Miguel Chauca, Justo Durand, Manuel Durand, Frank Escobar, Manuel Escobar, Carlos Marcelo, Eric Meza, Nestor Milla, Laura Ochoa, and Roland Palacios.

Many thanks to the Ministerio de Cultura del Perú for approving the 2022 activities, archaeologist Juan Lopez for supervising the field operations, the Asociación Caminemos Unidos and the Museo Arqueológico de las Tecnologías Andinas for their warm hospitality, and the NSF for the financial support!

The San Isidro research is part of a broader program exploring the rise of divine lordships in northern Peruin collaboration with Dr. George F. Lau (University of East Anglia).

For more information about the San Isidro project, please visit Chicoine personal faculty page.

Drone View Of Cerro San IsidroPhoto Credit: David Chicoine
Drone View of Cerro San Isidro

Drone View of TeamPhoto Credit: David Chicoine
Drone View of Team on Last Day of Excavations

Workshop Participants in Moro, PeruPhoto Credit: David Chicoine
Workshop Participants in Moro, Peru

Excavation TeamPhoto Credit: David Chicoine
Excavation Team on Ceremonial Inauguration of Field Season

Team MembersPhoto Credit: David Chicoine
From Left to Right: Carlos Ciriaco, Madeline Blanchard, Itzamara Ixta, David Chicoine, and Cory Hoover